Is my iMac HDD dying?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by wlow3, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. wlow3 macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    I've had symptoms that suggest to me that my HDD is dying but I wonder before I install a new one whether this is recoverable.

    Some symptoms in no particular order: the menu bar periodically disappears or menu does not respond to cursor clicks (doing finder tasks seems to bring this on), all the menu apps don't load, I booted once to the folder with a question mark (repair disk fixed this), the screen has appeared to freeze with only the cursor working, it booted showing a progress bar under ther Apple logo. I may have heard one instance of unusual disk noise but that's all I recall.

    Have not had any show stoppers in a bit (menu bar did disappear for a few seconds) but Repair Disk and SmartReporter both say everything is ok, if that means anything.

    Is it possible part of the disk is corrupted somewhere but still mechanically sound so an OS reinstall from, say, the Recovery disk (USB) could fix this (otherwise in what circumstance would one reinstall lion from the Recovery disk or partition, other than on a new, blank HDD - I don't get that)? (Also, I have a boot camp partition with Windows XP and booting to that I have yet to experience a problem.)
  2. Elbert C macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2008
    AK, USA
    Create a new user account, log into it and see if the same problems are happening there. If everything runs fine in the new account then there is something wrong with your users account. If the same issues are on the new account then it's a system wide problem.
  3. wlow3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    I created a new user account and plus I enabled the guest account and all exhibit the same issue.

    Mainly what I get now is that the menu bar will be absent unless I launch an app from the dock. Then it will come back for a bit but the respective File Edit View etc drop down menus are all gone; it's blank on the left side of the bar. The Apple logo is there but it is unresponsive. Everything to the right (clock, volume, apps) is there and is responsive to mouse clicks.

    I tried AppleJack (clear the caches, etc) - still the same issue.

    If I reinstall lion, do I keep my user folder and preferences just like updating the OS or does that wipe the disk?

    Should I just swap out the drive and do a fresh install and rebuild from a time machine backup?

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